UFC fighter’s stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard died from a gunshot wound as prosecutors seek the death penalty after charging kidnapping suspect with capital murder
- Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, has been charged with capital murder in the death of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old Alabama college student
- Yazeed was jailed earlier, charged with kidnapping in the woman´s disappearance. Charges were upgraded after Blanchard´s remains were found
- Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes says the medical examiner determined Blanchard died from a gunshot wound
- Blanchard was last seen October 23 at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama. She was the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris
Aniah Blanchard was last seen October 23 at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama
Prosecutors say the man investigators consider the lone suspect in the shooting death of the stepdaughter of a well-known UFC fighter will face a capital murder charge.
Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced Monday that prosecutors also will seek the death penalty against 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed in the death of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old Alabama college student.
Hughes says investigators believe Yazeed is the lone person responsible for her death.
Yazeed was jailed earlier, charged with kidnapping in the woman´s disappearance. Prosecutors say the charges are being upgraded after
Blanchard´s remains were discovered. Hughes says the medical examiner determined Blanchard died from a gunshot wound.
Two other men – Antwain Fisher and David Johnson Jr – have been arrested and charged in connection with her disappearance.
Blanchard went missing from a gas station near Auburn on October 23 before the remains were found in the woods 18 miles east of Montgomery on Monday.
Aniah’s mother said the 19-year-old wanted to become a teacher and a softball coach
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN BLANCHARD CASE:
October 23: Aniah Blanchard, 19, is last seen on surveillance video at a convenience store on South College Street in Auburn, Alabama
October 24: Blanchard’s family file a missing person report
October 25: Blanchard’s black Honda CR-V is found abandoned and damaged at Park Place Apartments in Montgomery
October 31: Police confirm Blanchard’s blood was found inside her SUV and it appeared she had suffered a life-threatening injury
November 6: Police appeal to the public for help in identifying a person of interest seen on surveillance video inside the same Auburn convenience store on the night of October 23
November 7: Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, is arrested on kidnapping charges in Escambia County, Florida
November 22: Antwain ‘Squirmy’ Fisher, 35, is arrested on kidnapping charges for allegedly helping Yazeed by getting rid of evidence and driving him
November 25: Human remains believed to be those of Blanchard are found in Macon County, halfway between Auburn and Montgomery
Police confirmed Wednesday that they belonged to the 19-year-old, who is the stepdaughter of UFC fighter.
Authorities found the remains a few feet inside a wooded area adjacent to County Road 2 near Highway 80 in Shorter, Alabama, WSFA-TV reported.
Police said they were making the announcement with ‘heavy hearts’ as the month-long search came to a close.
Blanchard´s disappearance is now a homicide investigation and additional charges will be filed, police said.
‘I am heartbroken for the family of Aniah Blanchard,’ Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.
‘Like Alabamians across our state, I was praying for a much different outcome. I will be keeping them in my prayers and ask the people of Alabama to continue to do so as well.
Blanchard was last seen on October 23 in Auburn, Alabama, at a Chevron gas station.
Her black Honda CRV was found abandoned days later more than 50 miles away at an apartment complex in Montgomery.
Police said her blood was found in the car.
Police announced Monday that human remains were found in a wooded area in neighboring Macon County.
They said that investigative leads led them to search that location.
After the disappearance, Blanchard’s black Honda CRV was found abandoned more than 50 miles away at an apartment complex in Montgomery. Police later said that the missing teen’s blood was found in the car and it appeared she had suffered a life-threatening injury.
Yazeed was seen at the gas station on the night of Blanchard’s disappearance.
He was arrested in the early morning hours of November 8 by the US Marshals Service in Escambia County, Florida.
Yazeed’s booking photo shows him with a massively swollen left eye. He was treated at a hospital after his arrest. He is being held without bond.
Police also announced they arrested two other men they said say either assisted Yazeed or hindered law enforcement efforts.
Police arrested Antwain Shamar Fisher of Montgomery, on kidnapping charges. In an arrest warrant filed with the court Monday, police said Fisher helped Yazeed by disposing of evidence and driving him.
A third man, David Johnson, Jr., was arrested Monday in Montgomery and charged with hindering prosecution in the case.
Police wrote in a charging document that Johnson´s son had driven Yazeed to Florida, but Johnson initially told police Yazeed had left the residence with a woman.